Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Happiness looks different for different people. For some people, happiness is fine food, it's jewellery. For some, it's business success. For some, it's meeting a weight loss or a health goal, for some it is succeeding with physical challenges.
A lot of things make me smile, including some of the above (business success and succeeding in physical challenges). But just one thing makes me truly, truly happy: my family.
For me, happiness looks my one month old baby girl sleeping, or gargling at me as we sit awake at 3 or 4 in the morning while the rest of the world sleeps. It's my elder daughter, now a toddler, running to me the second I get in the door for a big cuddle. It's my son coming home from school beaming from ear to ear because he got a great grade or scored a winning goal for the football team. It's my wife waking me up in the morning with a cup of tea and a smile despite the fact that she's probably been up several times in the night with the baby. It's coming home after a long day to the four people who mean the most to me on the whole damn planet and knowing how lucky I am that I have them. It's seeing my sister and my nephew settled and happy, it's seeing my cousin and best friend settle down too.
Cos it all worked out in the end.
For some, my lifestyle would be nothing more than monotony. I work, I come home, I spend my evenings with the family, I get up, I go to work, I come home, I spend my evenings with my family. I spend my weekends with my family. I change nappies, I clean up sick, I get up in the night to wipe tears. If you'd asked me 10 years ago my opinion on this lifestyle, you'd have been told that this would never, ever happen to me.
But it did. And for me this is all I need.
We've all experienced loss before, I know. And having experienced the loss of some so close, I feel all the more blessed to have what I have.
And yes, I'll curse at 4am tomorrow when the sound of cries pierce the air and, despite having been asleep for only a couple of hours and having to be up in the next couple, I will have to climb out of bed and attend to a baby. But the curse will last no more than a micro second. Because then I'll peer into her cot and she'll smile when I lift her from it. We'll go downstairs and I'll give her a bottle and we'll sit in the dark together. For that half an hour or so as she feeds and then slowly drifts back off to her dreams, it will feel, as it does every night we do this, like there's nobody else in the world awake. And that feeling there, sitting in the dark silently and drifting off to sleep with my baby daughter is the most precious one in the world.
That right there, that is what happiness is for me.